Businesses applaud flexibility added to ‘Paycheck’ program

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Changes made to the Paycheck Protection Program this week will add flexibility for small businesses, further helping them recover from the financial impact of the shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The legislation, which passed the Senate this week and was signed into law Friday by President Donald Trump, increases the loan forgiveness period from eight to 24 weeks, reduces the payroll requirement from 75% to 60%, raises the loan repayment period from two to five years, and extends the June 30 rehiring deadline.

According to U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, the Paycheck Protection Program has, to date, helped more than 45,000 Kentucky small businesses, farmers and certain nonprofits access loans totaling more than $5 billion. 

“This is a great help and benefit to our business, J Michael’s Spa & Salon. It would have been a great struggle to get through these 10 weeks of shutdown without the PPP loan. This added flexibility gives us peace of mind as we continue to reopen. This is truly awesome news for our business and our employees,” said Jerry Plappert, co-owner J Michael’s Salon & Spa in Louisville.

“Domestic violence does not stop because of the pandemic. We’ve been open 24/7, with necessary rearrangements and precautions. The PPP loan will ensure that we have adequate funds to pay staff and keep our doors open for all victims of domestic violence,” said Theresa White, financial coordinator for Cumberland Valley Domestic Violence Services in London.

“We’re extremely grateful for this legislation and the relief it provides our restaurant. The extension of 24 weeks, along with the additional flexibility, will actually put us in a position to meet our payroll, catch up on our bills and help us stay in business,” said Debbie Long, owner of Dudley’s on Short in Lexington.

The program was part of the original $2.2 trillion relief act approved by Congress in response to the coronavirus outbreak. After some initial problems, changes were made that improved the program and better targeted small businesses. A second round of funding was approved, bringing the total to more than $500 million.

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